Blogging is a lucrative online business model where you can earn passive income and work for yourself.
While blogging is pretty straightforward and easy to start, it requires a ton of work and patience.
In my case, it took almost a year of full-time work to start earning from my blog.
In this post, I will discuss the pros and cons of blogging to set some realistic expectations.
Without wasting any of your precious time, let’s jump into it!
Let’s start by looking at the pros of blogging.
#1 Semi-Passive Income
Once you have built a blog with many visitors, it can make money even while you sleep.
In the best case, one of your posts might make money for months or even years—without you having to touch it.
For example, if you run ads on your informational posts, such as how-to guides, every time a visitor pops up, you earn a small amount (based on the ads shown to the visitor).
Also, if you do affiliate marketing that’s one of the most common ways to monetize a blog, you might earn recurring commissions for subscription-based services.
If someone becomes a customer through your post, you earn a portion of their monthly fee as long as they are paying customers.
#2 Be Your Own Boss
As a blogger, you’re the captain of the ship.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of blogging is being your own boss.
Instead of working 9-to-5 and making someone else rich in your effort, with blogging, you can build your business in an effort to make yourself rich.
This is exactly what happened to me. Although I loved my 9-to-5 job, there was something missing—the freedom of working on my own terms.
When I start my day as a blogger, I never know in advance what I’ll be working on. And if I don’t feel like working, I’ll just go to the gym or play disc golf—without having to ask anyone.
With more than 2 years into my full-time blogging career, I’ve never felt like going back to regular 9-to-5.
#3 Learn a New Skill
These days blogging is all about sharing information. You need to solve problems for people in the form of how-to guides and such.
But before you can help someone else, you need to make sure you get the facts straight.
Writing a how-to guide on gut feeling is not a good idea. Instead, every blog post needs research and careful thinking.
In other words, whatever you write about, you need to learn first.
This is awesome because you get to learn new things and concepts as a blogger.
As a matter of fact, you can start a blog about something you’ve never even tried—you will learn as you teach.
If you just learned something new, you’re in a much better position in teaching that to someone.
This is because you can relate to other beginners and know their pain points as someone who just went through it all if that makes sense.
On the other hand, someone with years of experience might take things for granted that are not obvious to learners.
It’s a win-win. Even if your blog wouldn’t do well, you’d still learn a new skill that opens up all sorts of new opportunities.
My first blog was about Python programming. Although I had a ton of experience with Python, there were lots of concepts that were new to me.
#4 Easy to Start
While blogging takes time, it’s super easy to start.
Back in the day, blogging required some web design and coding skills. Not many people were able to establish an online presence in those days.
These days, starting a blogging website is as easy as it is to start a Facebook page. It only takes 15–30 minutes.
All the designs, coding, and other technical aspects are done on your behalf.
Also, the web hosting prices are really affordable. Typically, the first year of running a blog won’t cost more than $50.
#5 Get New Job Opportunities
A blog is a great online portfolio where you can showcase your passion for a particular topic.
If you’re a job seeker, what could be a better way to demonstrate passion than showing your blog where thousands of people come to learn?
And not only that, but you also show an entrepreneurial mindset and creativity by sharing a website that you’ve worked on the side.
When I started my coding blog, I got a bunch of job offers to work at startups.
Also, you never know who you will meet in the community you build with your blog. There are tons of like-minded people reading your posts.
To put it short, the main benefit of blogging is you can work for yourself on your own terms. With patience and hard work, you might earn a fortune by running a blog.
Like anything else, blogging also has some downsides to it. It’s not all about dancing on roses!
Now, let’s take a look at the cons of blogging.
#1 Takes Long
It takes a really long time to become a successful blogger.
You need to have a ton of spare time and patience.
For me, it took about 250 blog posts and a year of full-time work before I was able to earn from my own blog.
If you have only 5–10 hours a week for your blog, the growth will be super slow.
The only way to become a successful blogger “quickly” is by putting all in. You need to work at least 30–40 hours a week and write blog posts every day for months or even years to maximize your chances for success.
I work about 50–60 hours a week on my blogs.
But why does it take so long?
First, you need to understand what a successful blog is in the first place.
A successful blog ranks high for search phrases that people type into search engines like Google.
To rank high on search engines, your blog needs to have a ton of trust.
To build trust you need to write a ton of content about a particular topic.
For example, a successful blog about bouldering needs hundreds of blog posts about bouldering, such as how-to guides or other types of informational posts.
Also, it takes months for Google to rank blog posts.
It might take up to 12 months before a blog post finds its “final position” in the Google rankings—even on a highly trusted site.
#2 Traffic Changes
Google uses a complex algorithm to rank blog posts in the search results.
This algorithm changes drastically many times a year.
This can be bad news for your blog. There are countless cases where a blog loses all its traffic overnight.
The worst part is that there’s really nothing you can do about it.
You will NEVER know what caused your traffic to drop. You can just guess and move on.
Even if you were able to pinpoint exactly what caused your traffic to go down, it would still take months to recover.
The only way to battle this is by building a robust content network.
In other words, you need to have many blogs, newsletters, and even some Youtube/TikTok/Instagram presence. This way, if one traffic source goes down, your business stays more or less untouched.
The way I view it is that you’d much rather have 5 blogs that earn $1,000/month than one blog that earns $10,000/month. Yes, we’re settling for less here.
If one of those 5 blogs goes down, you only lose 20% of your income. But if the main blog goes down, you might lose all income in one night.
#3 Need to Stay Ahead of the Curve
I know this sounds super generic, but blogging is changing really quickly.
Those strategies that worked in 2021 no longer work in 2023.
A successful blogger needs to follow the news every day. Internet behavior changes all the time. The content that works now might not work in 5 years.
As an example, in late 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT.
This technology can be a great productivity and efficiency boost for bloggers. It can improve your content quality, message deliverability, and such.
Staying ahead of the curve requires even more work. On top of writing 50–60 hours a week, you might want to spend at least 5–10 hours more researching.
#4 Uncertain Success
No blog post is guaranteed to rank high on search engines. There’s no secret recipe.
There are strategies that you can use to maximize your chances of ranking high.
But you need to keep in mind it’s not enough to just rank high today. A post that is high on search results today might not be there tomorrow.
This uncertainty might be too much for many.
It’s much easier to work in a 9-to-5 job being almost certain that you will earn the same salary next months or years to come. But on a blog, things can change overnight.
Also, nothing prevents bloggers from burning out in the process.
After all, blogging is a real business that takes a long time and thousands of hours of hard and smart work.
#5 AI Uncertainty
AI is coming—and it’s coming fast.
What was thought not possible in our lifetime in 2021 became true in 2022.
The release of ChatGPT caused mass concern across all industries. The natural worry is that AI could replace human jobs. This applies to blogging as well.
AI bots like ChatGPT or AutoGPT can create amazing blog posts in seconds. And we’re just taking baby steps. AI will only be better and better over time.
Google and Bing are already rolling out AI to search results which will eat visitors from blogs.
No one really knows how AI will reshape blogging. It might spiral out of control really quickly at this pace. But it can also tame down quickly and just become a must-have tool for bloggers.
And that’s a wrap!
To build a successful blog, you need to work really hard and smart for months or even years. Blogging is a business like anything else.
Even though blogging is considered low risk, there are many uncertainties and aspects to take into account before committing to it.
For example, a single algorithm update could wipe out your entire blog. Also, AI develops quickly and many are worried that it could replace bloggers in the next 5–10 years.
The game changes quickly and as a blogger, you need to stay ahead of the curve all the time.
If you manage to succeed as a blogger, it can bring in semi-passive income for months or even years to come. But that’s not something to take for granted!
Be patient and work hard!